Homebuyers’ priorities

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Fresh air and family top the list of must-haves

THE CORONAVIRUS (COVID-19) pandemic has changed many buyers’ priorities when selecting a new home. Nature, family and modern conveniences have risen sharply in perceived importance, while some buyers have lost interest in transport connections and commuting times, according to a new survey[1].


Demand for access to green spaces and open air has risen in 2021. 55% of home buyers now say that proximity to a park or other open space is their first or second priority when choosing their next home, which is an increase from 42% a year ago. In London, 50% of buyers say that having a garden has become more important to them over the last year. This shift in preferences might be seen in both the types of properties buyers are selecting in future and the locations they’re searching in. To attract buyers, property listings should be sure to mention nearby open spaces and feature photos of outdoor areas.


Forced distance from loved ones has been one of the hardest parts of the pandemic, so it’s natural that staying close to family is seen as another crucial factor in selecting a property. 48% of buyers now name this one of their top two priorities, compared to 39% last year. A higher value on family is likely to be a lasting legacy of the pandemic and something that will influence purchasing decisions for years to come. It will undoubtedly be a factor in many relocations in the near future.


Unsurprisingly, homeworking considerations have become vastly more important since the outbreak of COVID-19 and enforced lockdowns. 48% of buyers now state that a separate homeworking space is a must-have. Similarly, 39% say that having a good Wi-Fi connection is vital. Meanwhile, proximity to workplaces is far less important than it has been in the past. This year, it was named by only 15% of buyers as a first or second place priority, compared with 27% last year. In London, the fall is even more substantial, from 32% to 14%.


Properties that are close to stations are, for similar reasons, rapidly losing their appeal. While, last year, 39% of buyers rated this their first or second priority, that number has dropped to just 28%. In London, the number of buyers who list proximity to a Tube station as a top-two concern has fallen dramatically, from 69% last year to 39% this year. No doubt the rise of remote and flexi working is partly responsible for this shift in sentiment. It is yet to be seen how many workers will return to offices over the course of this year and how many continue to work from home, but this is sure to influence the housing market. Homebuyers’ priorities Fresh air and family top the list of must-haves

Source data: [1] Savills 23 March 2021

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“The coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic has changed many buyers’ priorities when selecting a new home.”



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